Mikhail Myasnikovich rejected Russia’s claims for the return of 1.5 billion U.S. dollars in oil duties that Belarus allegedly failed to repay.
“Concerning Moscow’s claims for 1.5 billion U.S. dollars, I want to say that Belarus hasn’t violated anything,” Myasnikovich said on Thursday in Minsk.
According to the official, it is incompetent to reproach Belarus for some underpayment or some other things.
“We work correctly, honoring all the obligations. If the legal framework does not completely regulate something, it does not mean that you have to reproach us and calculate some lost profits,” Myasnikovich stressed.
The Belarusian premier also said that Belarus will export about 5 million tones of oil for the fourth quarter of 2012. “The agreement has just been signed,” Myasnikovich added.
Belarus receives duty-free oil and oil products from Russia in 2012. It pays 100 percent export duties on the oil products made from Russian raw materials to the Russian budget, if the products are exported outside the Customs Union. Solvents, thinners and lubricants are not included in the list of the oil products.
According to the Russian part, Belarus increased the procurement of Russian oil products and exported petrol to European markets disguising it as solvents. Russia’s Energy Ministry estimates the losses caused by solvents smuggling by Belarus at 1.5-2.5 billion U.S. dollars.
Russia already offered Minsk to compensate for the losses from the “solvent business,” but the claim cost was estimated at 1.5 billion U.S. dollars.